Pakistan Elections 2008: PPP and PML(N) Announce To Form a Coalition Government

Posted on February 21, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Politics
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Owais Mughal

All major media outlets are reporting that Pakistan’s two main opposition parties, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), have announced to form the new government together. News reports also suggest this understanding has been reached at both center as well as provincial level.

The photo below shows Asif Ali Zardari shaking hands with Nawaz Sharif at a press conference after their meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008.

Zardari Nawaz Pakistan elections

According to the Daily News:

Nawaz Sharif maintained that there is no difference in the two parties on the restoration of the deposed judges. “We accept the mandate of PPP with an open heart and wish that PPP complete its five year term,” he said, adding, “struggle for restoration of judiciary will continue and CoD will also be followed.” PPP Co-Chairman, Asif Zardari said PPP and PML-N have decided to work together for democracy. However, he said, some of the matter are yet to be decided by the parties. Ali Zardari said that both the leaders have decided to stay united in the parliament. Nawaz Sharif said, ‘We fought against the dictatorship and will keep doing so.”

According to a Daily Dawn update of 23:38 hours PST

Former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday his party would form a coalition government with the party of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto after they won crucial elections. “We have agreed on a common agenda. We will work together to form the government in the centre and in the provinces,” Sharif told a joint news conference with Bhutto’s widower Asif Ali Zardari. “We will ensure that you complete a full five years’ term,” said Sharif, addressing Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)

What About the Judges?

According to Associated Press feed of 11:35 hours USA CST:

Sharif said the two parties had agreed in principle on restoration of judges purged by Musharraf when he declared emergency rule late last year — an issue that many see as a possible source of discord between the parties. “In principle there’s no disagreement on restoration of the judiciary. We will work on the modalities in parliament,” said Sharif, who has previously demanded the immediate reinstatement of the detained ex-Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

What Do You Think?

Our question to readers is; What do you think? Is this a good move, a bad move, a hasty move or were there any alternatives that got over looked. We would like to hear from you.


1. The Daily Dawn Pakistan update here
2. CNN story here
3. Associated Press story here
4. The Daily News Pakistan update here
5. The Daily Jang Pakistan update here
6. BBC story here

Photo Credits: Associated Press

52 responses to “Pakistan Elections 2008: PPP and PML(N) Announce To Form a Coalition Government”

  1. Parvez says:

    Let this be a warning to all democratic people of Pakistan. The elected government will not last more than three months and you will have presidential rule to rebuild democracy. There is no way Musharraf is going to let power go. It is not going to be a pretty picture. Learn to read between the lines and hear the whispers from afar. Good luck.

  2. Rita says:

    Its good for political forces to join hands. And strengthen the judiciary to restore the rule of law. See politicians are the same all over. But here it is in their interest to strengthen democracy. This converges with the peoples

  3. Naz says:

    Agree with Shiraz. Words have to follow actions. For the sake of the country, people must insist that Nawaz, Zardari and Musharraf find a way to work together. Any one of them alone will bring a disaster.

    1. Find a solution to the problems in FATA.

    2. Minimize the ethnic divide. This is one factor upon which the enemies of Pakistan are counting on, to destry it. What can the citizens do?

    3. I agree that Iftikhar Ch. should be asked to retire. This is the best under the circumstances. But going forward, there should be checks and balances to never let it happen in future.

    4. Democracy is not going to come overnight. One free election does make democracy. We have to be patient and let it evolve as long as we we continue to step forward and don’t slip back.

    5. Again agree with Shiraz, everyone should use their influence to keep the elected representatives honest.

    6. Please do not ask US for help! You will regret it. We must find a way to internally solve our problems.

  4. meengla says:

    I’d say that these are ethnic based voting results. NS could not win a single seat in 2 provinces and has negligible presence in NWFP. It is also interesting to note people’s claim that northern Punjab voted for NS because of NS’s stand on judiciary. Logically then the rest of the country didn’t care enough for judiciary to vote for NS!! So, nope, NS was voted by ethnic factor just as MQM, ANP, and PPP (in Sindh) were voted. By denying this we give two much credit to our wanna be Amir ul Mominoon and the voters.
    That PPP managed to get votes all across the nation has to do with the ‘cult’ of a ‘Bhutto’ established since the late 60’s. But that is a dwindling vote bank: Even the epic tragedy of BB’s murder could not help her party regain the party’s erstwhile strength in Punjab; as Aitzaz Ahsan correctly concluded: There was not much of sympathy vote.

    All of this would be fine except that Sindh’s three matchless leaders (counting L.Ali Khan) have been killed and so Sindh has lost competitive advantage in electoral politics. This cannot be discounted in the political milieu of Pakistan. Care must be taken not to impose upon the smaller provinces.

    Finally, if NS was so ‘principled’ then he would not have betrayed his APDM partners and contested in the elections. Jamaat e Islami, the main loser, is not going to forget that for a while.

    NS has the distinction of having his goons attack the Supreme Court while he was the PM. And NS has a personal vendetta against Musharraf. These two factors must be taken into account to build a context for NS’s new political stand.

  5. RJ says:

    @Umar Akbar:”The two most notoriously corrupt personalities in the history of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have joined forces; pity the hungry and the poor.”

    Couldn’t agree more. This election shows how polarize our nation is, PPP won Sindh, PML (N) won Punjab, Mohajar’s hold (Karachi) and ANP holds NWFP. It shows Musharraf is nothing but a victim of this polarization, or may be it is not just Musharraf, ultimately the whole Pakistan will pay the price of this polarization.

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